Here’s the rundown on the clinics we will be holding. Beginning spey anglers should start with the “Intro to Spey” on Thursday, then attend “Sustained Anchor” on Friday. More advanced anglers should attend “Sustained Anchor” on Thursday, and “Touch & Go” on Friday. “Intro to Spey” will be instructional. You’ll be in the water learning to cast. Both “Sustained Anchor” and “Touch & Go” will be interactive demonstration clinics. You’ll primarily be watching and listening, but don’t be surprised if you are called down and used as an example! Everyone should attend the Q&A Clinic on Saturday!
INTRO TO SPEY – John Arnold, Sara Roholt, Ben McNinch
A slightly abbreviated version of the “Learn to Spey” clinics Headhunters has been putting on for years. John, Sara, Ben and the rest of our “Spey Staff” have introduced hundreds of anglers to the sport through these clinics. This class will skip the normal intro presentation and get you right out on the water casting. The goal is to get you competent enough with a cast or two to have a reasonable chance of catching a fish on your own that afternoon. This is a participation clinic, so wear your waders and bring your rod if you have one, as we prefer to teach folks with the gear they’ll be using. (If you don’t have one, rods will be provided). Clinic is designed for those who have never cast a two-handed rod before, or have very little experience.
SUSTAINED ANCHOR CASTING – Mike McCune
Learn from one of the best, and one the developers of the modern “Skagit” system. Mike McCune has been guiding and teaching Spey casting for over 3 decades in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, California and now Montana. Many anglers admire Mike’s super relaxed and effortless casting stroke, and Mike will show you the techniques and casts he has developed. This class is designed around Skagit style heads utilizing sink tips, but Mike uses these same techniques no matter what gear he is using, and will explain how using different lines and rods will affect your cast. Everyone attending will benefit from Mike’s phenomenal teaching style.
TOUCH & GO – Whitney Gould
Competitive Spey caster and guide Whitney Gould will show you some of the techniques she’s uses to achieve distance while using Touch & Go casts. She’ll also teach you how to use the single spey and snake roll to quickly and effectively cover the water. If you want to learn how to execute these casts, you might as well learn from someone who has used them to win 6 Women’s World Championships at the annual Spey-O-Rama Competition. Whitney also guides full-time on the Missouri River and will discuss why and where you might use these casts. The Single Spey and Snake Roll generate a lot of questions, and both are very useful for fall trout and Steelhead.
Q&A CLINIC – Mike McCune, John Arnold and Co.
There will be “Question Boxes” available during the event to submit written questions to our spey staff and instructors. At this final presentation, Mike and the rest of our crew will answer the best questions among the submissions (remember, there are no stupid questions!) This will be held “on-water” so Mike, John and our staff can answer by showing! This will be a great clinic and we are really looking forward to it!
GUIDED SPEY TRIPS – $425/2 anglers
For this event only, Headhunters will be offering 1/2 day guided trips starting around noon and going until 6pm. This is a great way to get out on the water with one of our guide/instructors and work on your cast while learning about where and how we target Missouri River Trout with our two-handed rods. You can sign up for 1 day or all 3. You can also request any of our guides you want, but it will be first come – first served. We wont be allowing anyone to lock up a specific guide for all 3 days. If you’ve ever wanted to go on a guided Spey Trip with Mike McCune, Whitney Gould or John Arnold, here’s your chance. But don’t discount our other spey guides like Beth Hood, Dewey Sutphin, Mark Raisler, Braden Lewis, Shane Wilson and Eric Mondragon. These guides have all been swinging flies on the Missouri for years.
SINGLE ANGLERS WELCOME! We are taking bookings for single anglers and matching them up with each other so they can share the cost of guided trips!
Many attendees may not need or want to fish with a guide and that’s great. We love to think that you attend one of our morning clinics and immediately head out to the Mo’ and put those lessons into practice. And we have quite a community of Trout Spey Anglers here on the Missouri River, so we hope you hook up with others to fish together, exchange ideas and flies, and put a few in the net. And the staff at Headhunters will be glad to help you pick the right flies, tips and runs if you’ve never spey fished the Missouri before.
You do not need a boat to DIY Spey Fish the Missouri. In fact theres a few strong arguments against it. We have plenty of public access and you may be able to dodge other anglers and the wind if you use your vehicle for transportation. For those who do bring their boats, there will be a discount on shuttles at Headhunters.
EVENING DINNER PRESENTATIONS
After fishing we will gather in the Big Top and enjoy some dinner while we swap fish stories from the day. You’ll also enjoy a presentation from one of the Pro’s attending. We will touch on topics that can be discussed and demonstrated inside. Expect to learn a little something new each night, and these are always great Q&A sessions. And with all the knowledge in the room, you should learn something even if you nod off in the corner with an IPA in your hand.
Also at dinner you will be able to talk tackle with manufacturer representatives, gather fishing tips from guides or put a question in the “question box”. Don’t be surprised if there are a few impromptu quizzes that reward the winner with some sweet swag!
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS of ULTRA-LIGHT SPEY CASTING
Don’t take this one too seriously, and its meant to be fun. But because we have never heard of a “Trout Spey Casting Competition”, we are holding the worlds first! If you win, you’ll be able to declare yourself “The Champ”, and we will refer to you as that, at least through the following week.
Gear requirements will be as follows:
Rods – 12’ or under
Lines – 350grains or less (or designated #4). May be integrated or shooting heads.
There will be some sweet setups on hand you can use if you don’t have one or your outfit falls outside the competition parameters.
Date: OCTOBER 12 Following Q&A Clinic.
Venue: River Left
WORD OF HONOR FISHING COMPETITION
This will be an unofficial “Word of Honor” Fishing/photo contest. While fishing during the event, take pictures of your best slab and share them on social media tagging Headhunters and the event (if you dont participate on social media, you can send the images to us and we will post them to our accounts with your permission). Measure the fish if it can be done safely without injuring them. Our crack panel of fly fishing judges will determine the winners. We don’t want anyone to take this too seriously, and we will do our best to make sure the best fish – not the best photos – win!
Requirements: Must be caught on a two-handed rod and/or a spey specific line, using a spey cast on a swung fly.
- Biggest Trout
- Biggest Trash (Walleye, Carp, Burbot, Whitefish, Perch, Pike)
TROUT SPEY FLY TYING COMPETITION
Is there such a thing as a “Trout Spey Fly”? Were not sure, but we want to see what you can dream up and create on the vise. Flies should be designed around swinging (not dead drifting), and can be tiny soft-hackles, big dredging streamers or even a skating dry fly. Or whatever you think.
Judging will be by our committee of fly gurus, and weight will be given to originality, swimability, use of materials and other random categories that we may decide on when we see your submission. All of the submissions will be on display in the tent during the course of the event, and there will be a “peoples choice” award as well.
For the winner (and possibly 2nd and 3rd places), there will be some great prizes and we will plaster pictures of your winning creation all over our blog and social media channels, making you very famous. We may even discuss carrying your fly at Headhunters! That means huge amounts of cash for you!
Submission Requirements: 3 samples of each submission. Must be submitted on or before October 10th. You do not need to attend to compete (but if its a close call and you are participating, that may give you an edge. Just sayin’)
We will be serving a simple, hearty and delicious buffet style breakfast and dinner in the “Big Top” on the property at Headhunters. Kelli Wilson from Missouri River Eats will be providing both, and you can order river lunches from her as well. Alcoholic beverages wil be BYO, and we will provide non-alcoholic beverages.
Lunch will be BYO, unless you are on a guided trip in which case lunch will be provided.
Normal Craig lodging options are available. All of the lodging choices from us, as well as other lodging choices in the area, including the other shops and Air B&B, VRBO, etc. If you get on it soon, you should be able to get something nice and close.
Camping will also be a great option that time of year. The Craig FAS, Wolf Creek FAS, and Stickney Creek FAS are the closest. RV Sites with hookups are at Sterling Ranch across the river form Craig, Canyon RV at the Mid-Canon exit, and Prewett Creek RV.
Call the shop or email julie@headhuntersflyshop with questions.
SIGN UP IN ADVANCE
We’re planning on having a blast at this event, and hope you can join us to learn a little more about Trout Spey, or share your knowledge and experiences if you are a Wiley veteran. While other “Claves” certainly have more presentations, we really want the focus to be balanced between learning and fishing. If you have any questions or comments, please contact email@example.com.
Please sign up in advance so we have an idea of how many to prepare food for. But being Craig, we understand that a few of you will probably just show up.